If you feel a news story does not measure up to expected journalistic standards, bring it to the Journalism Dry Cleaner. Through our collective wisdom, we will strip it of all offensive dirt.




Friday, 21 August 2015


Two eyes. One brain. Eye-brain coordination is a useful element, when polishing news stories before publication. The eyes spot the error and the brain makes the correction. But a scatterbrain editor might miss out on obvious signals from the eyes. And the result could be an editorial aberration.

Execution and manipulation of English can be a challenge. But for those to whom impeccable language skills are a key professional requirement, more is expected.

And at times, what's needed, is eye-brain coordination, (known as attention to details).

The 'mini sub-headline' above states:
60 million litres of water from Mzima Springs IS wasted daily.
Notice the sub-editing embarrassment that follows.

And do try to ignore the painful repetition of the same facts, at such close proximity.

The first paragraph reads:
At least 60 million litres of treated water from Mzima Springs in Taita Taveta ARE wasted daily yet county residents do not have access to clean water.
So what prompted the change from IS to ARE?

In other words, do you say '60 million litres of water is wasted' or '60 million litres of water are wasted'?

I guess the editor thought the best response to that question is to be noncommittal and use both, which amounts to being a...... let's say it together.....SCATTERBRAIN!

No comments: